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Young men top violent assault tables: study

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14:26 CET+01:00
Men under the age of 29 account for half of all reported cases of violent assault in Sweden, a new review shows.

In its report Youth and Violence, the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs (Ungdomsstyrelsen) found young men to be disproportionately represented in crime statistics.

In 2011, 21 percent of reported assaults had male suspects aged 15 to 19 years. Another 15 percent of the suspects were men aged 20 to 24, and 10 percent were men between the ages of 25 and 29.

The report was commissioned by the government, which ordered a review of violence and male identity.

"We have investigated the interplay between attitudes to equality and masculinity to attitudes towards violence," spokesman Per Nilsson said in a statement.

"Our results show that the risk of assaulting someone increase threefold among guys who agree with statements on stereotypical gender roles and stereotypical statements about masculinity."

Teenagers and young adults of both sexes are also statistically more likely to be the victims of violent assault than adults over the age of 35.

Figures from the Crime Prevention Council (Brottsförebyggande rådet, Brå) showed that 8.9 percent of males aged 16-24 were assaulted in 2011. For teenage girls and young women, the corresponding figure was 3.4.

The youth affairs board wrote in its report that surveys in ninth grade, when students are 14 to 15 years old, showed even higher figures.

Twenty-seven percent of ninth-grade boys said they had been hit, kicked or in other ways been assaulted, but had not had to seek medical attention for any injury. Yet, 8 percent said they had needed to seek treatment.

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Among the girls, 21 percent said they had fallen foul of lesser violent assaults with 5 percent saying they had been the victims of more serious violence.

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